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at Research Universities
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effect, additional metadata links that
are endorsed by the institution that invited Alice to give a talk, and which will
improve Alice’s ranking. (In CSPub, a
university’s colloquium series could be
represented much like a journal, linking to existing papers.)
Problem Solving. With CSPub, the
top papers will still get in, as always.
“Bubble” papers will, at the very least,
get the proper priority date of their initial submission and will start getting
citations. Conferences might introduce “accepted without presentation”
distinctions, allowing more papers to
be recognized and to avoid the need for
subsequent resubmission. Today, authors of rejected papers must choose
whether to edit and resubmit to a top
conference, resubmit to a lower-ranked
conference, or abandon a paper. With
CSPub, these decisions can be delayed.
If the paper turns out to be popular
and starts gaining citations, then its
authors will be motivated to update it
and resubmit it. If the paper turns out
to be poorly received, its authors can
rationally abandon it and move on. By
reducing resubmission rates, conference
program committees will have fewer papers to consider and can do a better job.
When a paper is rejected, and the author receives feedback from the rejecting conference, that feedback would
also be in CSPub, presumably (but not
necessarily) private to the author. This
creates an opportunity for the author
to choose to give this feedback to a subsequent program committee, along
with a statement about how the previous committees’ comments were addressed. This moves the treatment of
the manuscript closer to the consistent
handling available through the jour-
if all of academic
available in csPub,
a variety of new
nal process, yet with the speed of the
conference process. An anonymous
reviewer suggested that rejected papers might be indelibly tagged as such,
in public, as a disincentive to authors
submitting poor work to conferences.
The idea of “negative” metadata, permanently associated with one’s name
and reputation, would be seen as offensive by many researchers. Certainly,
CSPub could support such features if
they were desired.
CSPub can also enable new models
for how conferences operate. “
Unpublished” papers would be easy for program committees to discover on their
own and “pull” into a conference. One-time workshops might be built purely
around thematically linked, previously
Journals. In CSPub, a journal is
nothing more than an organization
that adds metadata notations to papers in the system. As such, anybody
can start their own journal for almost
no cost. Some journals would have
calls for papers, as conferences do,
and authors would indicate a submission in their metadata when posting a
manuscript. Other “journals” would
be nothing more than collections of
thematically related papers, perhaps
put together by graduate students
as part of their related work search.
Of course, if a senior academic puts
together a collection with a catchy
title (“Alice’s List of Seminal Papers
in Blah-Blah Theory”), and Alice is a
highly ranked professor, the collection would help increase the included
manuscripts’ rankings, both directly,
due to Alice’s strong personal ranking, and indirectly, by leading more
academics to read and cite the papers
on Alice’s list.
CSPub offers a number of improvements to the journal latency problem.
It allows early drafts to be seen and cited, while simultaneously being under
review, and it completely eliminates
printing latencies. Accepted papers
“appear” immediately. CSPub also trivially supports new models, such as the
hybrid journal/conference approach
being taken by VLDB.
Without a doubt, the biggest challenge
of CSPub is getting the ball rolling.
Computer science scholarship is pub-